Gnoza Knows It | Why do disabled vehicles use white flags?


I got a question from Kathy C. about the practice of using a white flag on disable vehicles on the side of the road.

A lot on the roadways, with a vehicle that has been abandoned. People chose a variety of things to signify this, in this case a chef's hat.

It is not commonly used to designate a broken down and useless person on the side of the road. Although the toilet paper is a classy choice.

Anyway, Kathy wanted to know how and where that started, if it is a requirement? She said it seems to be something unique to Pennsylvania.

Well I asked the two most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to transportation-my friends Greg Penny and Fritzi Schrefler of PennDOT. Fritzi says the general consensus is that the idea goes back to waving the white flag and surrendering. The car has given up. And they say there is no law that requires this, it's just a polite signal.

Hey, I have an update to a story I did last year about whether there are any phone booths left, now that cell phones are so prevalent.

Our evening producer, Tyler Jeski, found a story that says there are only 100,000 phone booths left in the country today. That’s down from 2 million in 1999.

The FCC says about 20,000 of them are in New York.

Ah yes, there was nothing like putting your face next to something that has spent the last several days and cozy-ing up to dozens of other faces and insects.

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